Approval (or Disapproval) of Your Child's Friends
Liz Pearce, Director of Parent Engagement
Children’s Museum of Richmond
A normally developing pre-teen or teen will strive to make decisions, develop meaningful relationships with friends, seek increased power over his own life, and build skills to become self-sufficient. Taking risks is a critical component in a young person’s growth, and with a parent’s support and guidance, teens may be less likely to engage in unhealthy risks.
Risky friends are part of the roller coaster ride of parenthood. Your son or daughter will try on several different personas from the ages of 10 – 18. That’s why you hear so many people who say, “Oh, it’s just a phase.” Most of the time, trying on different personas doesn’t result in permanent consequences or risky behavior. Friendships in middle school and high school will come and go.
Yet when your children are hanging out with kids who behave in ways that conflict with your values or your family rules, then it can become an issue.
An article written by Susan Brown, a Family Educator from Commonwealth Parenting, offers the following tips:
In Susan’s words, “The bottom line is, you must do all you can do to get between your child and trouble. You still have a good deal of leverage. Don’t be afraid to use it.”
In my words: You can do this! I know you can!